December 9-15, 2013: Diane Elayne Dees and Moriah Erickson

Diane Elayne Dees and Moriah Erickson

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Diane Elayne Dees
dianeedees@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Diane Elayne Dees lives in Covington, Louisiana. Her poetry has been published in many journals and anthologies. Diane also publishes Women Who Serve, a blog about women’s professional tennis.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Diane Elayne Dees and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Year of No Christmas Tree

In the year of no Christmas tree,
the husband departed in November.
Outside, the atmosphere changed
abruptly, and wrapped me carelessly
in twisted strands of humidity and oppression.
Words lost their meaning. Words like
tradition, celebration, evergreen, marriage.

In the year of no Christmas tree,
I slept on the floor of my office
and listened to frogs and crickets,
relentless in their harmonies,
suddenly mournful in their melodies.
A lamp, some alder cones, a stone egg
I bought on a trip to the beach,
The Book of Common Prayer–
these objects my only protection
from an abyss of my own creation.

In the year of no Christmas tree,
I wandered around the house
searching for my lost joy,
waiting to receive the gift
of release. Colored lights poured
over the neighborhood,
but illumination escaped me.
I saw myself carelessly unwrapped,
unwanted and barely acknowledged,
assigned to a dark, abandoned space–
too sturdy for the trash heap,
too broken to be re-gifted.


Moriah Erickson
mericks28@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Moriah Erickson is a writer, respiratory therapist, manager of a small, struggling corporation, and a mother to 7 children. She has a brand-new MFA from Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT, and wonders what to do with it. (First payment due soon!) She resides with her children, husband, and two mutts in Duluth, MN.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Moriah Erickson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Two Words

socked the wind out of my gut, a fast uppercut
straight to the solar plexus. I gasped

and put my hands onto the arms
of the cold plastic chair, the same one that held me

through reviews of echocardiograms every 3 months
from the time my daughter was a year old.

Now these words, which I had only thought before, dismissed,
a huff of fright and disgust at thinking such a thought

had seated themselves beside me, no longer inside.
The doctor across the desk had heard them too.

She had said them, actually, hung them up
like a stained sheet between us. Things would

never be the same: the doctor was no longer on my side.
I could tell by the sad way she looked

expecting tears or fright or anger, and all she got from me
was blank because I didn’t believe that after all

that we had done: the trips to the Cities, the endless sedations and diagnostics,
that it was over in those two words. She was done. I was done.

My daughter was defined. The laundry,
hung to dry in the breeze was stained forever.